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marriage of __-..- .- ..

Abraham. He died at a good old age, 175 years, and was
buried by his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, in the cave of -Mach-
pelah, which had been purchased of the sons of Heth. Isaac
thus became the head of the house, with princely posses-
sions, living near a well.

But a famine arose, as in the days of his father, and he
went to Gerar, and not to Egypt. He, however, was afraid
to call Rcbekah his wife, for the same reason that Abraham
called Sarah his sister. But the king happening from his
window to see Isaac " sporting with Rebekah," knew he had
He been deceived, yet abstained from taking her, and

Philistines, even loaded Isaac with new favors, so that he be-
came very great and rich — so much so that the Philistines
envied him, and maliciously filled up the wells which
Abraham had dug. Here again he was befriended by Abim-
elech, who saw that the Lord was with him, and a solemn
covenant of peace was made between them, and new wells
were dug.

Isaac, it seems, led a quiet and peaceful life — averse to all
strife with the Canaanites, and gradually grew very rich.
The He grave no evidence of remarkable strength of

affliction . ° . . °

of Isaac. mind, and was easily deceived. His greatest
affliction was the marriage of his eldest and favorite son
Esau with a Hittite woman, and it was probably this mis-
take and folly which confirmed the superior fortunes of

Esau was a hunter. On returning one day from hunting
he was faint from hunger, and cast a greedy eye on some
Ta ob and pottage that Jacob had prepared. But Jacob
Esau. would not give his hungry brother the food until he

had promised, by a solemn oath, to surrender his birthright to
him. The clever man of enterprise, impulsive and passionate,
thought more, for the moment, of the pangs of hunger than
of his future prospects, and the quiet, plain, and cunning
man of tents availed himself of his brother's rashness.

Chap, in.] Esau sells his Birthright. 31

But the birthright was not secure to Jacob without his
father's blessing. So he, with his mother's contrivance, for
he was her favorite, deceived his father, and ap- Jacob

' ' L obtains the

peared to be Esau. Isaac, old and dim and birthright.
credulous, supposing that Jacob, clothed in Esau's vest-
ments as a hunter, and his hands covered with skins,
was his eldest son, blessed him. The old man still had
doubts, but Jacob falsely declared that he was Esau, and
obtained what he wanted. When Esau returned from
the hunt he saw what Jacob had done, and his grief was
bitter and profound. He cried out in his agony, " Bless me
even me, also, O my father." And Isaac said : " Thy
brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy bless-
ing." And Esau said, " Is he not rightly named Jacob —
that is, a supplanter — for he hath supplanted me these two
times : he took away my birthright, and behold now he
hath taken away my blessing." "And he lifted up his
voice and wept." Isaac, then moved, declared that his
dwelling should be the fatness of the earth, even though he
should serve his brother, — that he should live by the sword,
and finally break the yoke from off his neck. The d ir
This was all Esau could wring from his father. of Esau -
He hated Jacob with ill-concealed resentment, as was to
be expected, and threatened to kill him on his father's
death. Rebekah advised Jacob to flee to his uncle, giving
as an excuse to Isaac, that he sought a wife in Mesopotamia.
This pleased Isaac, who regarded a marriage with a Canaanite
as the greatest calamity. So he again gave him his blessing,
and advised him to select one of the daughters of Laban for
his wife. And Jacob departed from his father's house, and
escaped the wrath of Esau. But Esau, seeing that his Hittite
wife was offensive to his father, married also one of the
daughters of Ishmael, his cousin.

Jacob meanwhile pursued his journey. Arriving at a cer-
tain place after sunset, he lay down to sleep, with stones for
his pillow, and he dreamed that a ladder set up on the earth
reached the heavens, on which the angels of God ascended

32 Hebrews from Abraham to Joseph. [Chap. hi.

and descended, and above it was the Lord himself, the
God of his father, who renewed all the promises that had
been made to Abraham of the future prosperity of his house.
He then continued his journey till he arrived in Haran, by
the side of a well. Thither Rachel, the daughter of Laban,
T ,, came to draw water for the sheep she tended.

Jacob s wan- - 1

derinss. Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of

tJie well, and watered her flock, and kissed her, and wept,
for he had found in his cousin his bride. He then told her
who he was, and she ran and told her father that his nephew
had come, Isaac's son, and Laban was filled with joy, and
kissed Jacob and brought him to his house, where he dwelt
a month as a guest.

An agreement was then made that Jacob should serve
He served Laban seven years, and receive in return for his
Laban. services his youngest daughter Rachel, whom he
loved. But Laban deceived him, and gave him Leah instead,
and Jacob was compelled to serve another seven years before
he obtained her. Thus he had two wives, the one tender-
eyed, the other beautiful. But he loved Rachel and hated

Jacob continued to serve Laban until he was the father
of eleven sons and a daughter, and then desired to return to
The quarrel n ^ s own country. But Laban, unwilling to lose so
with Laban. profitable a son-in-law, raised obstacles. Jacob,
in the mean time, became rich, although his flocks and herds
were obtained by a sharp bargain, which he turned to his
own account. The envy of Laban's sons was the result.
Laban also was alienated, whereupon Jacob fled, with his
wives and children and cattle. Laban pursued, overtook
him, and after an angry altercation, in which Jacob re-
counted his wrongs during twenty years of servitude, and
Laban claimed every thing as his — daughters, children and
cattle, they made a covenant on a heap of stones not to
pass either across it for the other's harm, and Laban returned
to his home and Jacob went on his Avay.

But Esau, apprised of the return of his brother, came out

Chap. Ill] Jacob at Bethel. 33

of Edom against him with four hundred men. Jacob was
afraid, and sousrht to approach Esau with pres- Meeting of

' ° L l 1 Esau and

ents. The brothers met, but whether from fra- Jacob.
ternal impulse or by the aid of God, they met affectionately,
and fell into each other's arms and wept. Jacob offered
his presents, which Esau at first magnanimously refused
to take, but finally accepted : peace was restored, and Jacob
continued his journey till he arrived in Thalcom — a city of
Shechem, in the land of Canaan, where he pitched his tent
and erected an altar.

Here he was soon brought into collision with the people
of Shechem, whose prince had inflicted a great wrong.
Levi and Simeon avenged it, and the city was spoiled.

Jacob, perhaps in fear of the other Amorites, retreated
to Bethel, purged his household of all idolatry, Jacob .
and built an altar, and God again appeared to him, Belhel -
and blessed him and changed his name to Israel.

Soon after, Rachel died, on the birth of her son, Benjamin,
and Jacob came to see his father in Mamre, now ,-. .. ,

' Death of

180 years of age, and about to die. Esau and Rachel.
Jacob buried him in the cave of Machpelah.

Esau dwelt in Edom, the progenitor of a long line of
dukes or princes. The seat of his sovereignty was Mount Seir.

Jacob continued to live in Hebron — a patriarchal prince,
rich in cattle, and feared by his neighbors. His favorite
son was Joseph, and his father's partiality ex. Thesa i eof
cited the envy of the other sons. They conspired J° se P h -
to kill him, but changed their purpose through the influence
of Reuben, and cast him into a put in the wilderness. While
he lay there, a troop of Ishmaelites appeared, and to them,
at the advice of Judah, they sold him as a slave, but pre-
tended to their father that he was slain by wild beasts, and
produced, in attestation, his lacerated coat of colors. The
Ishmaelites carried Joseph to Egypt, and sold him to
Potaphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard. Before we follow
his fortunes, we will turn our attention to the land whence
he was carried.




The first country to which Moses refers, in connection
The original with the Hebrew history, is Egypt. This favored

inhabitants , . n n -, \ -,

of Egypt. land was the seat oi one of the oldest monarchies
of the world. Although it would seem that Assyria
was first peopled, historians claim for Egypt a more re-
mote antiquity. Whether this claim can be substantiated
or not, it is certain that Egypt was one of the primeval
seats of the race of Ham. Mizraim, the Scripture name for
the country, indicates that it was settled by a son of Ham.
But if this is true even, the tide of emigration from Armenia
probably passed to the southeast through Syria and Pal-
estine, and hence the descendants of Ham had probably
occupied the land of Canaan before they crossed the desert
between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. I doubt if
Egypt had older cities than Damascus, Hebron, Zoar, and

But Egypt certainly was a more powerful monarchy than
any existing on the earth in the time of Abraham.

Its language, traditions, and monuments alike point to a
Their pecu- high antiquity. It was probably inhabited by a
hanties. mixed race, Shemitic as well as Hamite ; though
the latter had the supremacy. The distinction of castes
indicates a mixed population, so that the ancients doubted
whether Egypt belonged to Asia or Africa. The people
were not black, but of a reddish color, with thick lips, straight
black hair, and elongated eye, and sunk in the degraded
superstitions of the African race.

Chap. IV.] Ancient Egypt. 35

The geographical position indicates not only a high anti-
quity, but a state favorable to great national The fertility
wealth and power. The river Nile, issuing from of Egypt -
a great lake under the equator, runs 3,000 miles nearly due
north to the Mediterranean. Its annual inundations covered
the valley with a rich soil brought down from the mountains
of Abyssinia, making it the most fertile in the world. The
country, thus so favored by a great river, with its rich allu-
vial deposits, is about 500 miles in length, with an area of
115,000 square miles, of which 9,600 are subject to the fertili-
zing inundation. But, in ancient times, a great part of the
country was irrigated, and abounded in orchards, gardens,
and vineyards. Every kind of vegetable was cultivated, and
grain was raised in the greatest abundance, so that the peo-
ple lived in luxury and plenty while other nations were sub-
ject to occasional famines.

Among the fruits, were dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates,
apricots, peaches, oranges, citrons, lemons, limes, The produc-
bananas, melons, mulberries, olives. Among vege- Egypt.
tables, if we infer from what exist at present, were beans,
peas, lentils, luprins, spinach, leeks, onions, garlic, celery,
chiccory, radishes, carrots, turnips, lettuce, cabbage, fennel,
gourds, cucumbers, tomatoes, egg-plant. What a variety for
the sustenance of man, to say nothing of the various kinds
of grain, — barley, oats, maize, rice, and especially wheat,
which grows to the greatest perfection.

In old times the horses were famous, as well as cattle,
and sheep, and poultry. Quails were abundant, while the
marshes afforded every kind of web-footed fowl. Fish, too,
abounded in the Nile, and in the lakes. Bees were kept, and
honey was produced, though inferior to that of Greece.

The climate also of this fruitful land was salubrious with-
out being enervating. The soil was capable of supporting
a large population, which amounted, in the time of Herodo-
tus, to seven millions. On the banks of the Nile were great
cities, whose ruins still astonish travelers. The The castes o*
land, except that owned by the priests, belonged Egyrt-

36 Egyjyt and the Pharaohs. Chap. IV.

to the king, who was supreme and unlimited in power. The
people were divided into castes, the highest being priests,
and the lowest husbandmen. The kings were hereditary,
but belonged to the priesthood, and their duties and labors
were arduous. The priests were the real governing body,
and were treated with the most respectful homage. They
were councilors of the king, judges of the land, and guar-
dians of all great interests. The soldiers were also numerous,
and formed a distinct caste.

When Abram visited Egypt, impelled by the famine in
Canaan, it was already a powerful monarchy. This was
about 1921 years before Christ, according to the received
chronology, when the kings of the 15th dynasty reigned.
Egyptian These dynasties of ancient kings are difficult to be
dynasties. settled, and rest upon traditions rather than well
defined historical grounds, — or rather on the authority of
Manetho, an Egyptian priest, who lived nearly 300 years
before Christ. His list of dynasties has been confirmed, to a
great extent, by the hieroglyphic inscriptions which are still
to be found on ancient monuments, but they give us only a
barren catalogue of names without any vital historical
truths. Therefore these old dynasties, before Abraham, are
only interesting to antiquarians, and not satisfactory to them,
since so little is known or can be known. These, if correct,
would give a much greater antiquity to Egypt than can be
reconciled with Mosaic history. But all authorities agree in
ascribing to Moses the commencement of the first dynasty,
2712 years before Christ, according to Hales, but 3893 ac-
cording to Lepsius, and 2700 according to Lane. Neither
Menes nor his successors of the first dynasty left any monu-
ments. It is probable, however, that Memphis was built by
them, and possibly hieroglyphics were invented during their

But here a chronological difficulty arises. The Scriptures
ascribe ten generations from Shem to Abram. Either the
generations were made longer than in our times, or the sev-
enteen dynasties, usually supposed to have reigned when

Ciiap. IV.] Egyptian Dynasties. 37

Abram came to Egypt, could not have existed ; for, according
to the received chronology, he was born 1996, b. c, and the
Deluge took place 2349, before Christ ; leaving but 353 years
from the Deluge to the birth of Abraham. How could sev-
enteen dynasties have reigned in Egypt in that time, even
supposing that Egypt was settled immediately after the
Flood, unless either more than ten generations existed from
Noah to Abram, or that these generations extended over
seven or eight hundred years ? Until science shall reconcile
the various chronologies with the one usually received, there
is but little satisfaction in the study of Egyptian history
prior to Abram. Nor is it easy to settle when the Pyramids
were constructed. If they existed in the time of Abram a
most rapid advance had been made in the arts, unless a
much longer period elapsed from Noah to Abraham than
Scripture seems to represent.

Nothing of interest occurs in Egyptian history until the
fourth dynasty of kings, when the pyramids of Ghizeh, were
supposed to have been built — a period more remote than
Scripture ascribes to the Flood itself, according to our receiv-
ed chronology. These were the tombs of the Memphian kings,
who believed in the immortality of the soul, and its final re-
union with the body after various forms of transmigration.
Hence the solicitude to preserve the body in some enduring
monument, and by elaborate embalmment. What The p
more durable monument than these great masses of mids "
granite, built to defy the ravages of time, and the spoliations
of conquerors ! The largest of these pyramids, towering
above other pyramids, and the lesser sepulchres of the rich,
was built upon a square of 756 feet, and the height of it was
489 feet 9 inches, covering an area of 571,536 feet, or more
than thirteen acres. The whole mass contained 90,000,000
cubic feet of masonry, weighing 6,316,000 tons. Nearly in
the centre of this pile of stone, reached by a narrow passage,
were the chambers where the royal sarcophagi were depos-
ited. At whatever period these vast monuments were actu-

38 Egypt and the Pharaohs. [Chat. IY.

ally built, they at least go back into remote antiquity, and
probably before the time of Abram.

The first great name of the early Egyptian kings was Se-
sertesen, or Osirtasin I., the founder of the twelfth dynasty of
kings, b.c. 2080. He was a great conqueror, and tradition con-
founds him with the Sesostris of the Greeks, which gathered
up stories about him as the Middle Ages did of Charlemagne
and his paladins. The real Sesostris was Bamenes the Great,
of the nineteenth dynasty. By the kings of this dynasty (the
twelfth) Ethiopia was conquered, the Labyrinth was built,
and Lake Moevis dug, to control the inundations. Under
them Thebes became a great city. The dynasty
lasted 100 years, but became subject to the Shep-
herd kings. These early Egyptian monarchs were fond of
peace, and their subjects enjoyed repose and prosperity.

The Shepherd kings, who ruled 400 years, were supposed
by Manetho, to be Arabs, but leaves us to infer that they were
The shep- Phoenicians — as is probable — a roving body of con-
herd kings. q uerorS) w ho easily subdued the peaceful Egyp-
tians. They have left no monumental history. They were
alien to the conquered race in language and habits, and
probably settled in Lower Egypt where the land was most
fertile, and where conquests would be most easily re-

It was under their rule that Abram probably visited Egypt
when driven by a famine from Canaan. And they were not
expelled till the time of Joseph, by the first of the eighteenth
dynasty. The descendants of the old kings, we suppose,
lived in Thebes, and were tributary princes for 400 years,
but gained sufficient strength, finally, to expel the Shemite
invaders, even as the Gothic nations of Spain, in the Middle
Ages, expelled their conquerors, the Moors.

But it was under the Shepherd kings that the relations
Friendly re- between Egypt and the Hebrew patriarchs took
Hebrews the place. We infer this fact from the friendly inter-
Bhepherd course and absence of national prejudices. The
kings. Phoenicians belonged to the same Shemitic stock

Chap. IV.] Expulsion of the Shepherd Kings. 39

from which Abraham came. They built no temples. They
did not advance a material civilization. They loaded Abram
and Joseph with presents, and accepted the latter as a min-
ister and governor. We read of no great repulsion of races,
and see a great similarity in pursuits.

Meanwhile, the older dynasties under whom Thebes was
built, probably b. c. 2200, gathered strength in misfortune and
subjection. They reigned, during five dynasties, in a subordin-
ate relation, tributary and oppressed. The first king of the
eighteenth dynasty seems to have been a remarkable man —
the deliverer of his nation. His name was Aah-mes, or Amo-
sis, and he expelled the shepherds from the greater Expulsion of
part of Egygt, b. c. 1525. In his reign we see on herd kings.
the monuments chariots and horses. He built temples both
in Thebes and Memphis, and established a navy. This was
probably the king who knew not Joseph. His successors
continued the work of conquest, and extended their dominion
from Ethiopia to Mesopotamia, and obtained that part of
Western Asia formerly held by the Chaldeans. They built
the temple of Karnak, the "Vocal Memnon," and the avenue
of Sphinxes in Thebes.

The grandest period of Egyptian history begins with
the nineteenth dynasty, founded by Sethee I., or Sethos,
b. c. 1340. He built the famous "Hall of Columns," in the
temple of Karnak, and the finest of the tombs of the The-
ban kings. On the walls of this great temple are depicted
his conquests, especially over the Hittites. But the glories
of the monarchy, now decidedly military, culmin- Greatness of
ated in Ramesis II. — the Sesostris of the Greeks. Eamesis IL
He extended his dominion as far as Scythia and Thrace,
while his naval expeditions penetrated to the ErythrEean
Sea. The captives which he brought from his wars were
employed in digging canals, which intersected the country,
for purposes of irrigation, and especially that great canal
which united the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. He
added to the temple of Karnak, built the Mem- His
nonium on the western side of the Nile, opposite turai works.

40 Egypt an d the Pharaohs. [Chap. IV.

to Thebes, and enlarged the temple of Ptah, at Memphis,
which he adorned by a beautiful colossal statue, the fist
of which is (now in the British Museum) thirty inches
wide across the knuckles. But the Rameseum, or Mem-
nonium, was his greatest architectural work, approached by
an avenue of sphinxes and obelisks, in the centre of which
was the great statue of Ramesis himself, sixty feet high,
carved from a single stone of the red granite of Syene.

The twentieth dynasty was founded by Sethee II., b. c.
1220 (or 1232 B.C., according to Wilkinson), when Gideon
ruled the Israelites and Theseus reigned at Athens and
Priam at Troy. The third king of this dynasty — Ramesis
III. — built palaces and tombs scarcely inferior to any of
the Theban kings, but under his successors the Theban
Decline of power declined. Under the twenty-first dynasty,
Thebes. which began b. c. 1085, Lower Egypt had a new
capital, Zoan, and gradually extended its power over Upper
Egypt. It had a strong Shemetic element in its population,
and strengthened itself by alliances with the Assyrians.

The twenty-second dynasty was probably Assyrian, and
began about 1009 b. c. It was hostile to the Jews, and
took and sacked Jerusalem.

From this period the history of Egypt is obscure. Ruled
obscurity by Assyrians, and then by Ethiopians, the gran-
history, deur of the old Theban monarchy had passed
away. On the rise of the Babylonian kingdom, over the
ruins of the old Assyrian Empire, Egypt was greatly pros-
trated as a military power. Babylon became the great
monarchy of the East, and gained possession of all the terri-
tories of the Theban kings, from the Euphrates to the

Leaving, then, the obscure and uninteresting history of
Egypt, which presents nothing of especial interest until its
conquest by Alexander, b. c. 332, with no great kings even,
with the exception of jSTecho, of the twenty-sixth dynasty,
B.C. 611, we will present briefly the religion, manners, cus-
toms, and attainments of the ancient Egyptians.

Chap, it.] Egyptian Deities. 41

Their religion was idolatrous. They worshiped various
divinities : Num, the soul of the universe : Amen, Eeiigion

• • ■. -r-i t t i of the

the generative principle ; lvnom, by whom the pro- Egyptians.
ductiveness of nature was emblematized; Ptah, or the
creator of the universe ; Ra, the sun ; Thoth, the patron
of letters; Athor, the goddess of beauty; Mu, physical
light ; Mat, moral light ; Munt, the god of war ; Osiris, the
personification of good; Isis, who presided over funeral
rites ; Set, the personification of evil ; An up, who judged
the souls of the departed.

These were principal deities, and were worshiped through
sacred animals, as emblems of divinity. Among them were
the bulls, Apis, at Memphis, and Muenis, at Helio-

. , A. • • mi -i-i The Deities.

polis, both sacred to Osiris, lhe crocodile was
sacred to Lebak, whose offices are unknown ; the asp to
Num ; the cat to Pasht, whose offices were also unknown ;
the beetle to Ptah. The worship of these and of other ani-
mals was conducted with great ceremony, and sacrifices were
made to them of other animals, fruits and vegetables.

Man was held accountable for his actions, and to be
judged according to them. Be was to be brought before
Osiris, and receive from him future rewards or punishments.

The penal laws of the Egyptians were severe. Laws of tbe
Murder was punished with death. Adultery was -Egyptians,
punished by the man being beaten with a thousand rods.
The woman had her nose cut off. Theft was punished with
less severity — with a beating by a stick. Usury was not per-
mitted beyond double of the debt, and the debtor was not

The government was a monarchy, only limited by the
priesthood, into whose order he was received,

, . . , , , , Government

and was administered by men appointed by the
king. On the whole, it was mild and paternal, and exer-
cised for the good of the people.

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